For the sake of victory: charitable organizations and public associations during wartime
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For the sake of victory: charitable organizations and public associations during wartime

During martial law, the number of new charitable organizations and public associations increased. Their activities aim to provide assistance and protection to persons who have suffered from armed aggression, lost their homes, need clothing, medicine, or food.

This article will consider what such organizations and associations can do, their types, whether there are differences between them, and how to register a charitable or public association.

Public associations

A public association is a voluntary association of individuals and/or legal entities to exercise and protect rights and freedoms and the public’s satisfaction, including economic, social, cultural, environmental, and other interests—for example, human rights, education, ecological associations, etc.

Public associations can be created to achieve goals solely in the interests of their members. That is, their activity is local and can solve small-scale problems.

In contrast, public associations have goals that benefit society as a whole: human rights, education, social services, housing, food, and necessities.

There are two types of public associations:

  • public organization;
  • public association.

The number of founders in both the union and the organization may not be less than two.

The main difference between a public association and a public organization is that the founders of a public organization can only be individuals, while public associations can be legal entities.

What do I need to register for a public association?

Firstly, it is necessary to have identity documents (passport, identification code, document on the address of residence registration).

Secondly, determine who will be the founder (at least two people).

Thirdly, choose the name and type of future public association, address, leader and governing bodies, purpose, and activities.

The next stage is the preparation of documents, which you can do yourself or with the help of lawyers. The following documents are submitted for the state registration of a public association:

  1. statement (if necessary, with an indication of inclusion in the Register of non-profit institutions and organizations);
  2. a copy of the decision of the founders on the establishment of a public association;
  3. regulations;
  4. information on governing bodies;
  5. information about the person who has the right to represent the public association for registration activities;
  6. register of persons who participated in the meeting.

Next – signing and registration, usually by a notary and registrar of the Department of Justice at the location of the founders.

The final stage is entering the Register of non-profit organizations, ordering a seal, opening a bank account, and obtaining an electronic digital signature for accounting.

At each stage, a lawyer can provide assistance (preparation of documents, filling out forms, consultations, support in government agencies, etc.).

Charitable organizations

Charitable organization – a legal entity whose charitable activities in one or more areas are the activity’s primary purpose. Charitable activity is voluntary personal and / or property assistance to achieve certain goals, which does not involve the receipt of income by the philanthropist and the payment of any reward or compensation to the philanthropist.

Areas of charitable activities include education, health care, assistance to victims of disasters, armed conflicts, and accidents, as well as refugees and people in difficult circumstances, guardianship and maintenance, legal aid, social protection, social security, social services, and overcoming poverty, promoting the country’s defense capability and mobilization readiness, protecting the population in emergencies, etc.

A charitable organization can be created as:

  • charitable society – not less than two founders; acts based on the statute; may have, in addition to the founders, other members who joined it;
  • charitable institution – the founders transfer assets to achieve the goals of charitable activities; the founder or founders of the charitable institution do not participate in the management of the charitable institution; acts based on the constituent certificate;
  • charitable foundation – operates based on the charter, has participants, and is managed by participants who are not obliged to transfer to this organization any assets to achieve the goals of charitable activities; one or more founders can create it.

What do I need to register as a charity?

In general, the procedure is no different from the registration of public associations, as we wrote above.

The difference is that the Center for Administrative Services registrar carries out the registration. Also, the list of documents for registration differs in part.

The following documents are submitted for the state registration of a charitable organization:

  1. application for state registration (if necessary, with an indication of inclusion in the Register of non-profit institutions and organizations);
  2. a copy of the decision to establish a charitable organization;
  3. constituent document (statute or constituent act).

The main differences between charitable organizations and public associations

The primary function of public associations is to promote the common interests of the organization members, in particular, to assist those who need it. In turn, charitable organizations’ function is to collect and transfer money and property to recipients of charitable assistance.

All funds raised can be spent on the goals and objectives of the public association. At the same time, the charity should transfer 80% of the funds raised to the recipients and use 20% to cover the organization’s administrative costs.


Charities and non-governmental organizations are not for profit. The primary purpose of their activities is property assistance and protection of the rights, freedoms, and legitimate interests of persons in need.

Each founder independently chooses the type of organization or association, considering the field of activity, goals, personal participation, and the number of founders.

Among the registered most popular types are charitable foundations and public organizations.

Author of the material:

Iryna Syroid, attorney at Trustme Law Firm